Coast Guard Foundation President Susan P. Ludwig presented the crew of the newly commissioned Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson with a $5,000 gift for their morale fund during the vessel’s commissioning ceremony in March 2017.
The Lawrence Lawson and crew are homeported in Cape May, where they will perform multiple Coast Guard missions along the Mid-Atlantic coast from New Jersey to North Carolina such as law enforcement, search and rescue, and protecting America’s infrastructure.
The Lawrence Lawson, the 20th Fast Response Cutter, is named after U.S. Lifesaving Service Station Keeper Lawrence O. Lawson. Lawson and crew gained notoriety for rescuing the 18-person crew of a foundering steamship named the Calumet, on Lake Michigan, Nov. 28, 1889.
From the official U.S. Coast Guard history on Lawson:
The crewmen from the Evanston station in 1894. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
"In the course of affecting the rescue, Lawson and his crew traversed 15 miles through a gale by train, by horseback and by foot. After two failed attempts to conduct the rescue by firing a line to the vessel, Lawson decided to launch the surfboat. Under near-impossible icy conditions, the crew was finally able to launch.
"In three successive trips through the breakers, the crew brought all 18 members of Calumet’s complement ashore. The rescue was effected only after the display of extraordinary courage and heroism by the boat’s crew.
For his resolute direction of his crew and dogged conduct of this rescue, Lawson became known throughout the U.S. Life-Saving Service. His leadership and heroic efforts in the rescue of the crew of Calumet did not go unnoticed and Lawson was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal on Oct. 17, 1890."